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Ride With the Devil (Classic Screenplay) Paperback – September 1, 1999


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Paperback, September 1, 1999
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Product Details

  • Series: Classic Screenplay
  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571201636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571201631
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,489,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
Having said this, I could hardly put this book down.
John D. Morvant
The movied tanked, despite its beautiful cinematography, intriguing plot, and great heart.
Glenda S. Burnside
The sheer carnage reminds one of McCarthy's Outer Dark and Blood Meridian.
S. Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally and at last, the border war of Missouri/Kansas is having its story told. Here were no magnificent lines of battle with brave banners and an awe-struck foe admiring the fatal advance. Here were no bugle calls, no gold braid uniforms or gentleman officers in plumed hats. This was a dirty, vicious, strange-dogs-in-a-meathouse fight that shattered families, emptied neighborhoods, and sometimes created feuds that lasted generations after the war.
Daniel Woodrell writes with a remarkable style perfectly suited to the tale he tells. Taut, sparse, haunting, lyrical yet terrible, easing us lazily along from moments of unpretentious poetry to drop us jangling into stark, slamming violence. From the first page, I read it as drinking a rare liquor, sipping and savoring only a few pages a day, in no hurry to have it end.
Mr. Woodrell does not rub our faces in gore, but nor does he shrink from or glorify the brutality of killing. We have no doubt of what is happening, recoil from its horror, yet the image is drawn with such spare, severe strokes that we are left stunned as the aftermath of a car wreck - what just happened? When one character dies, the scene is engraved with a laser beam; "Oh, sweet Lord Jesus. It was way down there past terrible....My world bled to death."
Yet rather than being a story about a war and its battles, this a story about very young men - and women - whose lives are turned inside-out by that war. We see them involved in the very human struggle for place, for a sense of belonging, for those fleeting moments of gentleness, set against the smouldering, bloody backdrop of war, and jerked back to the bad-chili burning in the guts for payback when "comrades" are lost.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book just after finishing the much acclaimed "Cold Mountain." Amazon.com has certianly missed the boat in not linking the two books. As a history buff, and avid reader I found that "Woe to Live On" has "Cold Mountain" beat for getting the feel of the time and believable characters. It also told the story in an appropriate amount of pages (unlike "Cold Mountain").
I live in Missouri and have traveled through the South and North -- I have noted that in the South there are allot of monuments to the Confedracy, in the north there are allot of monuments to the Grand Army of the Republic. This book demonstrates why Northwest MO doesn't have any monuments to the Civil War. We have a few markers for battles, but no monuments to either side -- it was just too painful a topic with neighbors on opposing sides. I hope the movie does the book justice. (Why aren't they re-releasing the book with the actors on the cover a la Sense and Sensibility?)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Harris on September 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The influence of both Twain and Cormac McCarthy are fairly clear to see in Daniel Woodrell's Ride with Devil. The sheer carnage reminds one of McCarthy's Outer Dark and Blood Meridian. But there's more. Ride With the Devil is also a coming of age novel telling the story of Jake Roedel, a young Bushwhacker (and immigrant's son), who has not known a woman, but who has killed 15 men.

In Woodrell's hands, Jake is a complex mix of child and killer. He has been hardened by a war that, in the contested border areas of Missouri & Kansas, was as murderous as modern day Bosnia. Robbery, murder, torture, in an eye for an eye conflict, was the coin of the day. Nevertheless, the reader senses the human Jake trying to peek out from beyond the callus. Sometimes it's a moment of tragically misplaced pity for a northern militia acquaintance, or his growing interest about the woman, the widow Sue Lee, of his "near" brother Jack Bull. And then there's growing friendship with Holt, a freed slave who has been riding with the bushwhackers. A common ground gradually develops between the despised immigrant's son, and the mistrusted black man, as they see the south fall apart due to invasion. Interestingly, Woodrell is able to show both characters growing dissatisfaction for the southern cause, as its increasingly being fought (the raid on Lawrence being a point of true descent), while at the same time retaining their hate for northerners who seek to impose, through invasion, new rules for the old. A subtle truth that historians still can't seem to get right, but which acquires an awful plausibility in the half-boy, half-man voice of Roedel. This is fine novel that should be probably be viewed beyond the genre of a western and/or historical fiction.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!" 16 year old Jake and his friends may not be able to quote the bard, but these teenage hardcases know too much about havoc. You can get a dollars worth of bitterness for only a nickel hereabouts. The war in Kansas and Missouri that raged for years before and after the 'War of North Aggression' left a lot of scars on this edge of the prairie. There weren't a lot of major battles, nothing you had to learn about in school. Just a neverending campaign of mutual retaliation. Casual hangings, work-a-day shooting sprees, ordinary assassinations, mundane decapitations. Even a not-so-ordinary arson where the yankee's burned a warehouse full of captured Southern women in Kansas City. Oops! You know, your ordinary border war. Ho-hum stuff. Payback for payback, ad nauseum. 20 years of Guerilla warfare waged mainly by teenage boys in cowboy hats. Make 'em wear ballcaps backwards while chanting YO and flashing gang signs, and it could be your town, today. In case you didn't think a border war between a couple of bland midwestern states had any relevance to your life...wise up, pilgrim. Read Woe to Live On, you might spot some of those mistakes History professors were always warning you to learn from, or be doomed to repeat. You know, like "Lather, rinse, repeat." This is good stuff, Woodrell is a master at dialect, and his grasp of the underlying hopelessness of this conflict rings true. I advise you to read it before the movie gets here. Get it the way Woodrell meant it, before some scriptwriter tries to make you believe this mess was all about slavery. Yeah, slavery drew a line in the sand between "Freestate" Kansas and "Secesh" Missouri.Read more ›
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